Burning out

I know there are lots of people here who work 12+ hour days, so i'd be curious to know how people manage their careers over time. I recognize some of you might be fresh out of UG, but for those of you who are closer to your late 20s/early 30s or older, how have you been managing working long hours over the years? Have you ever felt like you're burning out? If so, i'd be curious to hear how you've handled it. I definitely used to have no issue working late all the time when I was in my early 20s, but now I just don't see that being the lifestyle I want to continue having.

I've recently been considering taking a step back for a bit of better work/life balance even if that means taking a lower title position for a little less comp, but curious to hear what others have done. I'm a pretty competitive person and take pride in my work and want to make a good living, but as I get older I also value not working all the time and spending more time living.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/insight!

Comments (16)

Feb 14, 2019

RE is lighter on hours than IB. Youd be surprised how many people dont actually do 60/70/80 hr weeks.

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Feb 14, 2019

It is a matter of choice... At least you are self aware enough to make a choice.

If you value prestige and money above all then be prepared grind well into your 30s

If you determine that you value free time and family then you will surely be compensated less.

I chose the later. I took a heft pay cut and title cut and moved to the principal side. I don't regret that decision. I work on great deals, have autonomy and still make decent coin. Also, I work 35-40 hrs a week.

It's a matter of preference my dude. Has nothing to do with pride. If you stick around in this biz you've clearly got pride in your work.

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Feb 15, 2019

I find that my struggle is thinking that I would be farther along than where I currently am or would be if I take a step back at this point (both on title and comp). It's definitely an internal civil war between my ego vs. my soul.

Feb 14, 2019

No one has touched on it but geography and the culture of the city you are located in can have a big effect on your work hours and your management's expectations for you to "outperform".

For example, I moved from New England to Southern California. If I had my same position on the east coast, I have no doubt I would be working an additional 2-3 hours per day versus what I do now. Because of this shift in expectations I could dial back my intensity by 10% and still be a top performer while taking better care of myself physically and mentally.

This obviously depends on how flexible you are in other areas of your life and willing you are to take certain risks but making a switch like this can allow you to "have both" - as in flexible, better work/life balance while moving up the chain.

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Feb 15, 2019

This is a very fair point. I am originally from the east coast and now live in SoCal, but given the nature of my job being so transaction heavy, the hours have been crazy since we've been so busy and i've basically burned out.

Part of me moving to SoCal was for a more relaxed approach to the work life, but I guess i just got lucky with a gig that still has really high expectations. hah

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Feb 14, 2019

Well sounds like you did all you could on the locational front then.

The most important question when making these decisions is what do you view as your end game and what role are you working towards? If by nature the niche in real estate you are in is really transaction focused so you cannot adapt it to a more lifestyle oriented balance perhaps it's time to start exploring a transition to another subset of the industry. That being said, any career decision should always be framed with your final destination in mind and making sure your next opportunity is a rung in the ladder pulling you towards that final end goal/role.

If you are conflicted about what this end goal or role looks like (as many of us are or have been) I highly recommend an exercise I came upon on a podcast. It is the Tim Ferris Show, Episode 214: How to Design a Life. It is towards the end of the podcast but essentially you sit down, imagine and write down every detail in your life 10 years from now. Just keeping writing every element (your home, job, lifestyle, pets, children, hobbies, environment, awards, how you look, etc) that you picture because although it may seem you don't know what you want, typically you've been carrying a vision for the future internally you may not even be aware of. Keep writing and writing as specific as possible with no limits in mind and at the end you'll be surprised how clear of a vision you have of your life in 10 years. Now all you've got to do is pursue projects and positions that get you closer to that ideal "end goal" lifestyle - often what you really need isn't more money, it's finding the right position that opens up your time to pursue and have the opportunity to do things that bring you joy.

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Feb 16, 2019

.

Feb 14, 2019

My work is super varied which always keeps it fun. Give that a go? Not sure how feasible it is for you though.

Feb 14, 2019

There is no shame in favoring your personal life over your professional life! In fact, that's what most of the world does!

I am not personally bothered by long hours because I am compensated directly from closing deals. Knowing that a deal would not happen without my work and that I'll be getting a decent payday when all is said and done keeps me motivated after I've eaten dinner at my desk for 2 weeks straight.

Feb 15, 2019
hard assets:

I know there are lots of people here who work 12+ hour days, so i'd be curious to know how people manage their careers over time.

In the real estate forum? Not anywhere near as many people as this implies.

hard assets:

Have you ever felt like you're burning out? If so, i'd be curious to hear how you've handled it.

Of course. Some time off over a holiday, a vacation, or even a "mental health friday" is a great remedy.

hard assets:

I've recently been considering taking a step back for a bit of better work/life balance even if that means taking a lower title position for a little less comp, but curious to hear what others have done.

You don't have to take a lower position though. I'm not sure what you do, but if you're regularly working 12+ hour days, it might just be time to get a new job in general. There are plenty of front office roles that don't require that.

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Feb 15, 2019

RE is an interesting one when it comes to the burn out question.

From what I have seen the further you go in this career the less work you have to put in for exponential results. It is a very relationship driven business and give you a large upper hand the longer you stay in it. RE roles vary in time required so some may move from Acquisitions to Asset management or Project management but leaving the RE game completely seems like a wasted effort and a strange path to take due to burnout.

I think if you are feeling burnt out that you should definitely not take a lower position for less comp, but rather maybe move to a different area and use your skills is a new way.

Feb 15, 2019

I don't think I want to leave real estate altogether.

More so thinking of moving from a debt fund to a life co.

Feb 15, 2019

You only live once...

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Most Helpful
Feb 15, 2019

I guess it depends on the role and organization. If you can get in to business development, rainmaking, deal closing, you'll find it's not about the hours, but rather the results. The older I've become (now 54), the less I work because the ability to make large sums of money in a small amount of time increases. You have to decide what you want to do. I broke off and went independent, opened my own shop, etc. Had I stayed in the organization I was with way back when (or moved to something similar), I would have worked way more hours, sat in on hundreds of meaningless meetings, traveled non stop, etc. I didn't want that. I also didn't want to be subject to the whims of acquiring companies with sales management overlap.

One of the companies we affiliate with has had at least 8 heads of sales (National Sales Mgr) in 18 yrs. They're more like a vendor to me now. I used to get excited to meet the FNG but now I know it's hardly worth the time as they won't be around very long.

If you're in a revenue generating role, get really good at it and you'll be able to control your world.

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Feb 18, 2019

I'd echo the point on geography, when I was in NY, I was getting killed, but now that I'm in another east coast city, lifestyle is great. NY simply kills you, move to any of 80-90% of major cities and chances are, your lifestyle will be better

Feb 18, 2019
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